City recognized for child health achievements

Let’s Move! Cities, Towns, and Counties (LMCTC) has recognized Mayor Chris Coleman for recent completion of key health and wellness goals, making Saint Paul a LMCTC site. LMCTC, which works alongside the National League of Cities, is a major component of First Lady Michelle Obama’s comprehensive Let’s Move! initiative. Let’s Move! is dedicated to solving the childhood obesity epidemic within a generation.

“I want to thank our partners Think Small and Saint Paul Public Schools for their leadership and great work in this crucial initiative,” Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said. “Our dedication to collaboration in early childcare and education programs, and commitment to improve the health and wellness of all Saint Paul community members are vital as we strive to make Saint Paul the most livable city in America.”

Mayor Chris Coleman was recognized for achieving:

  • Bronze and Silver medals in Goal I: Start Early Start Smart
  • Bronze medal in Goal III: Smart Servings for Students and
  • Bronze, Silver and Gold medals in Goal V: Active Kids at Play

These recognitions were awarded due to three main factors. The first is because of the city’s partnership with Think Small, an organization dedicated to advancing quality care and education of children, which built an active interagency collaboration on early childcare and education programs, in addition to the city’s partnership with other childcare training programs. The second contributing factor is Saint Paul’s partnership with Saint Paul Public Schools, resulting in at least 60 percent of Saint Paul Public Schools participating in the School Breakfast Program, and lastly, Saint Paul Parks and Recreation’s leadership in mapping play spaces and developing more opportunities to increase access to physical activity.

“Think Small believes that exercise, movement and healthy nutrition are essential to children’s development in their crucial early years,” said Barbara Yates, President and CEO of Think Small. “We are thrilled to work with the City of Saint Paul and Saint Paul Public Schools to support early care and education programs to provide children with the opportunities they need to be healthy and active.”

“The Mayor and City of Saint Paul have worked side-by-side with our schools to ensure that our students are fed and ready to learn each day,” Saint Paul School Superintendent Valeria Silva said.

All LMCTC sites have the opportunity to earn up to five gold medals, one for each actionable goal they commit to as part of the initiative. The five goal areas are:

  • Goal I: Start Early, Start Smart: Promoting best practices for nutrition, physical activity and screen time in early care and education settings
  • Goal II: My Plate, Your Place: Prominently displaying MyPlate in all municipal or county venues where food is served
  • Goal III: Smart Servings for Students: Increasing participation in school breakfast and lunch programs
  • Goal IV: Model Food Service: Implementing healthy and sustainable food service guidelines that are aligned with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans
  • Goal V: Active Kids at Play:Increasing opportunities for physical activity

The National League of Cities (NLC) is the lead collaborating partner on this initiative, working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Association of Counties, and other nonprofit organizations, in assisting local elected officials to implement policy and environmental changes to prevent childhood obesity.